1st Jan 2011, 11:32
BBC News - Two killed in hot air balloon crash in Somerset (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-12102865)
About a mile South from the Radstock VRP. Looking out of my window shortly after 1000Z, 8 Oktas around 3,000 ft.
Very sad, 2 dead.
Why does a Balloon crash in which 2 men die get moved to another group?
Are Ballooning deaths less interest or important to GA deaths?
2nd Jan 2011, 18:52
Update; Tributes paid to scout master killed in tragic ballooning accident | swns.com (http://swns.com/tributes-paid-to-scout-master-killed-in-tragic-ballooning-accident-021451.html)
6th Jan 2011, 07:54
I was just reading in the paper about the fatal ballon crash on New year's Day.
My question is -
I know that balloons have right of way according to the rules of the air, but the article stated they were planning to fly at 20,000'. What are the rules for the balloonists up there? Do they have to have a radio, 2 way comms with ATC, a transponder, mode c, file a NOTAM? The paper stated the crash happened near Midsomer Norton, Somerset, so that is clearly in Class A airspace.
6th Jan 2011, 10:02
The paper stated the crash happened near Midsomer Norton, Somerset, so that is clearly in Class A airspace.What makes you say this? I don't have a map to hand but I recall that there's an awful lot of class G around there.
7th Jan 2011, 16:36
Guess a few retakes of Air Law required ;) Here's my guess:
Class G can go up to FL195. Above FL100 need to use a Xpdr A+C.
FL195-FL245 is Class C LTMA areas, except the TRAs.
UIR (>FL245) is Class C.
I am not sure if that area is covered by a TRA, but if so, it tends to be quite flexible if you talk to the right people over using it...
7th Jan 2011, 18:22
Ballooning is a common activity in the Bristol area. The controllers that can provide services in the area are experienced in the handling of balloon flight, even those that are a little unusual. The reports aid that the pilots were in contact with Bristol ATC. In this case I imagine that ATC was simply providing a FIS to the balloon whilst it was largely in class G airspace - I would hazard a guess that it was co-ordinated with other appropriate agencies such as the mil. If it was necessary for the balloon to enter class C airspace (as described by NoD) I can see no difficulty in the controller at Bristol co-ordinating a suitable clearance. A slightly unusual flight but nothing to challenge controllers, especially those with experience providing services outside CAS.
8th Jan 2011, 16:16
Thank you gentlemen, that provides the answer - the balloon has to be fitted with a transponder AND radio contact with an ATC agency required to conduct this flight.
On a more general note, what happens if a balloon looks as if it will penetrate an airway. Do ATC ensure that doesn't happen by telling the balloon to descend below it?
If transponder fitted, I guess they must also carry altimeters for the Mode C.(forgive my ignorance, never been up in one).
8th Jan 2011, 16:44
It's the pilot's responsibility to get any clearance that is necessary (this applies to all aircraft). If the controller has time - and is that way inclined - he or she may warn the pilot of the proximity of the airway or whatever. Likewise the controller can negotiate a clearance with the other controlling authority on behalf of the balloon pilot but it will be subject to other workload etc.